Grazing rates of Elysia tomentosa on native and introduced Caulerpa taxifolia

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Title Grazing rates of Elysia tomentosa on native and introduced Caulerpa taxifolia
Author Burfeind, Dana Dee; Tibbetts, Ian R.; Udy, James W.
Journal Name Hydrobiologia
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Abstract The marine alga Caulerpa taxifolia Vahl (C. Agardh), recognized globally as one of the most prolific non-native species introductions, has been introduced to several temperate locations from where it has since rapidly expanded. C. taxifolia is protected by a toxin (terpenoid) in its tissues that limits grazing by native herbivores. Sacoglossan molluscs of the genus Elysia are among the few organisms that graze C. taxifolia; however, little is known about their feeding ecology. In the current study, we quantified the grazing rates of Elysia tomentosa on native C. taxifolia (Moreton Bay, Queensland) and introduced C. taxifolia (Botany Bay and Lake Conjola, New South Wales). Grazing rates were similar at Moreton Bay sites and Botany Bay; however, they were significantly lower in Lake Conjola. At the maximum observed grazing rate, slugs ate their body weight in C. taxifolia (dry weight) every 18–24 h. Differences in grazing rates between locations may be explained by differences in C. taxifolia morphology rather than native or introduced origin.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 632
Issue Number 1
Page from 355
Page to 358
ISSN 0018-8158
Date Accessioned 2010-07-02
Language en_AU
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Ecology; Ecosystem Function
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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